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Poster: J.B. Nicholson Date: Jan 18, 2009 9:35pm
Forum: us_congress Subject: No, C-SPAN isn't good enough.

C-SPAN is a private organization funded by cable companies. It fancies itself a "public service" but like any other private organization, they can arrange to make their output less readily available. Even if they don't dare do that because they fear the wrath of the public who would be brought to question the proper role for archiving Congressional goings-on, the work they could destroy or stop making readily available is considerable and thus so is the loss to the public.

Congress should distribute raw footage of hearings, inaugurations, and other public functions and let multiple places handle all the rest of the details (archiving, transcoding to other formats, and distribution).

So, no, C-SPAN isn't the appropriate venue for this, particularly if it's the sole venue. No single distributor can be trusted and nobody who distributes the work should be able to lock it up.

We need to make better demands on the government for how to treat its public records.